The ongoing YES Marketing Disaster



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The ongoing YES Marketing Disaster

Postby Ed Schaum » Mon Sep 03, 2001 8:12 am

You'd think that a such a great band would be able get their marketing strategy figured out.

But nooooooo, they've effed it all up again.

The latest word I hear (unconfirmed) is that the album release is now pushed back to DECEMBER!!!!!!!!!

And don't you love the "preorder the album and download the tracks" announcement. Well, I pre-ordered several copies the first day it was available, but I won't get to take part in the downloads because THEY DIDN'T ANNOUNCE THAT THE DL WOULD ONLY BE AVAILABLE FROM ONLY ONE SITE until much later.

Here's a band that regularly sold out 20,000 seat venues night after night... for many years they were known as one of the 70's "supergroups"... a band that has been putting out albums (semi)-regularly for 30 years... a band whose lineup has consisted of some of the most talented musicians on the planet.

This is also a band that most people these days have never heard of, they can't get a song on the radio no matter what they do, and their album sales are crappy with every release.

How can this be? Pink Floyd doesn't have this problem, and neither do a host of other talented and semi-talented older bands.

At the other end of the spectrum is a band like Kiss, these guys are billionaires. The latest thing they're marketing is Kiss coffins. You can already buy Kiss ________ (insert ANYTHING here), and those guys REALLY sucked.

Yes parted ways with the big record companies a long time ago, I don't know why. Whether they were booted or decided to do it themselves, I can't say. I do know that if you have a deal with a big company, they get most of the money from album sales. Many bands, once they get really big, move away from the record companies and start their own so they get some of the cash. I can't say I blame them, but the side effect is no airplay. The majors have a stranglehold on the radio stations, they pretty much can't play anything that isn't on the majors' approved lists (there are exceptions to this though).

How many of us would LOVE to have some Yes merchandise.... most of us, probably. Maybe a Yes logo bumper sticker, or WHATEVER. But there's almost nothing available. Yeah, you can get a yes shotglass, and there might still be a few of those beer steins floating around, but that's about it.

Why doesn't someone associated with this organization wake up and make some attempt to market this band properly?

I started to write this rant a few months ago when they botched the Radio City announcement. Yes has NEVER played Radio City before. This should have been a MAJOR announcement, and it certainly should have been announced BEFORE tickets for the other 2 NY area shows went on sale.

There are lots of other 70's bands that still get airplay and sell a lot of albums: floyd, the eagles, the who, zep, journey, etc. Even Santana has figured out how to hook into the new millennium, and he was around for WOODSTOCK ....the FIRST one!

Ok, so this turned out to be a rant instead of a well-thought-out message, but the point remains.... who's driving the ship?

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Hah! At this rate, they'll just be a minor footnote in Old Fogey Magazine.

C'mon YES, can't you combine absolute artistry and commercial success?
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Postby N2yes » Mon Sep 03, 2001 8:56 am

<font color=red>I'm worried myself, especially after hearing the new cut "Don't Go". God, I have to force myself to say it but, that song reeks of circus music ( at the beginning especially ). Not only do they have an abysmal marketing scheme, it would appear that they may actually be making an overt play for the mindless top-forty scene, that is unless the rest of the CD reflects their true genius( actually, "In The Presence Of" is a pretty eloquent tune ). Maybe there is some hope but things aren't looking too good beyond the tour which thankfully appears to be doing quite well. Time will soon tell.

In as much as YES merchandise is concerned, I'd give anything to obtain some really nice stuff...but where must I look? I stand in absolute agreement with you Ed! Someone needs to get their head(s) out of their arse(s)...and soon...OH SOON!!!!!</font id=red> <img src=pix/icon_smile_blackeye.gif border=0 align=middle>

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Postby Lotus » Mon Sep 03, 2001 9:53 am

<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>
<b>Ed Schaum wrote:</b>
And don't you love the "preorder the album and download the tracks" announcement. Well, I pre-ordered several copies the first day it was available, but I won't get to take part in the downloads because THEY DIDN'T ANNOUNCE THAT THE DL WOULD ONLY BE AVAILABLE FROM ONLY ONE SITE until much later.
<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></font id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote>

Yup,and apparently at the rate of one song per week 'till November 16.There's an interesting article concerning the holdover and marketing strategy that was apparently posted today by Jordan Berliant,co-manager of the band and executive producer of Magnification,on alt.music.yes...it's re-printed herehttp://www.bondegezou.demon.co.uk/wnyesm.htmand seems to answer some of the "what-are-they-thinking" questions.What he says makes some sense,if only in hindsight,now that the album's already late.

Apart from Berliant,who else manages Yes nowadays?

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Postby relayer4u » Mon Sep 03, 2001 9:59 am

N2, you have me rolling on the ground! I so much wanted to like Don't Go, and initially, I did. After repeated listings though, I have to agree with your assesment. I'm playing the song and I have to strain to hear Steve's guitar parts because of a wall of.....Circus music! LOL! When Yes hits the top 40, Yes Talk will be inundated with Brittany and Nstink whore threads!

As for the Yes marketing plan, it's clear that one doesn't exist. More than a few Yes fans are now in the prime earning years, with "disposable" income available. If they created some cool logo items; shirts, posters, license plate frames...etc, they would sell truck loads of the stuff.

I pray that Don't Go is the only track of it's kind on Magnification.

Ray C.
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Postby yeskat » Mon Sep 03, 2001 11:29 am

Ed, I have fully agreed with your opinions of bad (or even lack of) publicity! But I must thank Lotus for drawing our attention to alt.music.yes and reading the reason for all this. Actually I'm a little encouraged by this since this appears to all be planned for a reason! Maybe this will work! However, I DON'T understand their releasing Don't Go as the publicity CD! From what I've heard of it, it doesn't really reflect YES style and I really don't care for it at all! Now I've only heard bits of it, so maybe it's really better than that, but in reading the fan reviews of the concert, not too many really like it!
I don't know, but this band always keeps me guessing!<img src=pix/silly.gif border=0 align=middle><img src=pix/icon_cnfzd.gif border=0 align=middle>
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Postby yeskat » Mon Sep 03, 2001 11:34 am

Oh, forgot to mention -- read all about the filming of the concert and release of documentaries for US TV and the "surprises" in store in December! I can only hope that they are pumping us up only to let us down once again!<img src=pix/icon_smile_dead.gif border=0 align=middle>
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Postby N2yes » Mon Sep 03, 2001 11:58 am

<font color=red>Damn nice info there Lotus!! Very informative. Thanks for sharing that with us. I suspected there actually might be someone's notion of a legitimate reason behind this "strategic" manuever though I question its proposed design ( I hope my suspicions prove unwarranted--see "Confusion Over Release Date"-Album forum ). I am wary, admittedly so, but, I guess at the same time, I am forever optimistic. Just wish they would pick some other song. "Don't Go" is so Captain Kangarooish! ( that song has to have been targeted for top-forty audiences ).</font id=red> <img src=pix/icon_smile_blackeye.gif border=0 align=middle>

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Postby fragilesi » Mon Sep 03, 2001 12:02 pm

Hmmm, sounds like an impressive strategy to be honest. I was ready to leap in and second every word that Ed had said but this changes things somewhat. Getting in early on the new format like that could be a big plus especially for a band like Yes, many people may be encouraged to buy the album as it will be one of the few available.

Of course this strategy would seem all the better if they had come up with it from the beginning. Credit where it's due though.

I suppose that it's too much to hope that the European release date doesn't get pushed back too but I can live with that if it happens.

Simon.
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Postby yeskat » Mon Sep 03, 2001 12:33 pm

Oops -- allow me to correct my last post -- I meant to say "I can only hope they AREN'T pumping us up only to let us down again!"
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Postby Altair » Mon Sep 03, 2001 1:43 pm

Oh well. As I've said before, strive to live without expectations. How many times of getting let down does it take to learn that lesson?In any event, when Magnification comes, it comes and, until then, we live on the edge of the moment. I am curious about this DVD player. What's that all about?
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Postby Dr_Yes » Mon Sep 03, 2001 8:29 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>
<b>Ed Schaum wrote:</b>
You'd think that a such a great band would be able get their marketing strategy figured out.

But nooooooo, they've effed it all up again.

<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></font id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote>

I just don't get this band. For over twenty years I have had to defend them, often to the point of being the butt of many jokes. At school in the punk and new-romantic eras I was forced to endure jibes about rock dinosaurs and has-beens, over blown pompous de blah be blah de blah. Of course even then they couldn't get airplay and seemed to me to have zero marketing presence in England, so I couldn't even let Yes do the talking for themselves. That said loads of people I know get into Yes if they are exposed to it for a while - believe me I've converted many myself. BUT I don't know why the band can't get their act together. All you ever hear about is contracts, lawyers, squabbles over money, schedules - Wakeman can record but won't tour - Bruford feels he should get more money for banging away tunelessly on his toy electronic gear on the Union tour. What is it Wakeman once famously said, "The end is listless".

In a world in which marketing a product is so vital then why do these guys seem so inept? Who is advising them so badly?
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Postby Ed Schaum » Mon Sep 03, 2001 10:55 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>
<b>fragilesi wrote:</b>
Hmmm, sounds like an impressive strategy to be honest. I was ready to leap in and second every word that Ed had said but this changes things somewhat.
<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></font id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote>

Nah, I'm not buying it, Simon. Sounds like spin control to me. The tour started in July, and now they're not releasing the album until almost SIX MONTHS later.

What happened, did someone just NOW come up with the idea of marketing for Christmas. Baloney. It's another case of someone not thinking ahead, not planning properly.

This kind of crap causes any marginal fans to turn their backs. Right now there's excitement about the music and the tour. If the album was available NOW, then LOT's of people would be buying it. Come December, when most people have already taken care of their shopping lists, Magnification will sit in the bins.

Uh oh, now I'm thinking about how I'm getting beat out of hearing the downloadable album tunes until December because I ordered the album as soon as it was available. The site I ordered from won't be offering any early tracks. "Hey, let's announce that fans who pre-order will be able to download the tracks. Then, a couple of weeks after the real fans order from tower or cdnow, we'll announce that the downloads will only be available on some minor site that no one's ever heard of." Yes, that's the way ya do it, money for nothing and alienate the diehard fans.

Now I hear that there may be ANOTHER switch as far as what site to order from. I saw some comment about "how they will handle orders from".... uhhhh.... "getmusic" or whatever the CURRENT pre-order site is.
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Postby IngnoZac » Mon Sep 03, 2001 11:55 pm

Look at this: Chris Squire: bass guitars, backing vocals (lead on "Can You Imagine")

I think this is the first time Chris gets lead vocals on a Yessong.

About this date problem, I think... well... I WANT THAT ALBUM!!!

Renato
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Postby Chris2210 » Tue Sep 04, 2001 12:53 am

<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>
Nah, I'm not buying it, Simon. Sounds like spin control to me.
<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></font id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote>

Dunno, maybe I'm more gullible than I thought, but maybe the DVD-A format colaunch could be just the sort of gimmick to raise awareness the band needs. Most of us around here are fairly clued up about new releases, but if the pitiful sales figures bandied about for the last few albums are correct, Yes need all the extra publicity they can get. As they don't seem to be getting much media attention and no airplay, this ploy could easily double the sales of their last couple of albums!

Hope it's a good enough product to justify the spotlight though...
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Postby Squire#1 » Tue Sep 04, 2001 1:16 am

Chris is singing a song on Magnification???!!! WOW!!! There is hope!!! I can't wait!!!
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Postby jackalz » Tue Sep 04, 2001 3:03 am

Damn, I guess I'm going to have to get a life for three more months. And the download's not going to help, as the dynamics of the sound will be so cheap, and only one song a week. And when the CD comes out, it won't be the full sound of the DVD, which will cost about a thousand $'s. Grumble, grumble, grubs again.

Sooooooooooooooooo, give it all the love you have, there is a special reason, to come throuuuuuuuuuuuugh.
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Postby Ed1909 » Tue Sep 04, 2001 4:49 am

They say patience is a virtue - WELL I GUESS I'M NOT A VIRTUOUS PERSON!!!!!
Obviously if the release is Dec' in the US, over here will be similar <img src=pix/icon_smile_sad.gif border=0 align=middle>

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Postby gatesofdeliriumcrasher » Tue Sep 04, 2001 4:58 am

<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>
Nah, I'm not buying it, Simon. Sounds like spin control to me. The tour started in July, and now they're not releasing the album until almost SIX MONTHS later.

What happened, did someone just NOW come up with the idea of marketing for Christmas. Baloney. It's another case of someone not thinking ahead, not planning properly.

<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></font id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote>
Upon reading the article, I agree with you 100%. Managerial spin control is what it amounts to. I swear, if Yes doesn't find someone else to manage them (or do it themselves, I'm sure they could considering they've only been in the business for over thirty years!), they risk sinking into obscurity!!!

<hr>"...we are merely players, performers and portayers. Each another's audience outside the gilded cage." Rush
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Postby Altair » Tue Sep 04, 2001 6:13 am

<font color=teal><font face='Papyrus'>Hey, I know this is a bummer for us all. I would like this album now as much as anyone in here. But, let's not get down so much we can't get up. These guys are pushing their 60s. We'd better appreciate whatever comes around; good, bad, late, or early, something will be better than nothing. Hell, we have to expect a little slowness with the old age. Just for the band to still be together is a treat. I don't know about you'all, but this dog will take any bone thrown his way.</font id='Papyrus'></font id=teal>
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Postby gatesofdeliriumcrasher » Tue Sep 04, 2001 6:58 am

<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>
<b>Altair wrote:</b>
<font color=teal><font face='Papyrus'>Hey, I know this is a bummer for us all. I would like this album now as much as anyone in here. But, let's not get down so much we can't get up. These guys are pushing their 60s. We'd better appreciate whatever comes around; good, bad, late, or early, something will be better than nothing. Hell, we have to expect a little slowness with the old age. Just for the band to still be together is a treat. I don't know about you'all, but this dog will take any bone thrown his way.</font id='Papyrus'></font id=teal>
<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></font id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote>
And this, unfortunately, is the attitude that will further perpetuate bad management!

<hr>"...we are merely players, performers and portayers. Each another's audience outside the gilded cage." Rush
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Postby Altair » Tue Sep 04, 2001 9:00 am

Mark my words, for I have foreseen the general Yesfan response to Magnification. Due to such high expectations, which were set so many years ago it seems like a different lifetime, Magnification will fail to marvel the classic fan still in search of an encore to Gates, and those expectations will result in a crash, a Magnificationcrasher.
You want so much, and expect so much, and hope for so much. But, the band doesn't subscribe to these outrageous expectations. They're busy playing their own game, by their own rules. Now, there are some fans here who will enjoy the time as it comes, with anticipation and an open mind, not expectations and a preconcieved dream of how things<i>should</i> be.
It's a simple thing. If you want to live life bent out of shape, then be pissed off about things. But, if you like the gentle current of peace, then let the river meander where it wishes and...
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get carried by the flow,
don't try and find any reason,
get carried by it,
jump in the flow." Cy Curnin, The FIXX

Edited by - N2yes on Sep 08 2001 5:11:33 PM
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Postby N2yes » Tue Sep 04, 2001 9:07 am

<font color=red>I think there is some truth in what you have said here Altair. I for one, will readily admit that my expectations are indeed very high. I will see if I can't kick back a little and see, or rather hear what happens.</font id=red><img src=pix/icon_smile_angry.gif border=0 align=middle>

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Postby HeartSunrise » Tue Sep 04, 2001 9:39 am

Okay I think everyone needs to calm down...

Although I must say I have been angry over the last few years. YES is a great band and they don't seem to get recognition. I think YES wrote songs BETTER than Pink Floyd and there is NO question in my mind that YES is better than fricking KISS! Look at it this way...They are going to take the time to promote this album. And also...for all you people that are complaing about "Don't Go"...Just shutup, please. This is not the 70s...I love those songs from the 70s with all my heart, but times are different now. And YES has to be a different band. They have to change...AND PROGRESS FOR GOD'S SAKE! If ALL they wrote were 20 minutes songs then we would be like "whatever...another 20 minuter" when one came out! They have to balance it with shorter songs...and let me say that if "Don't Go" is gonna be a pop song IT IS ONE HELL OF A LOT BETTER THAN ANY OTHER POP SONG OUT NOW!

And yeah I am disapointed the album is coming out later, but I trust YES' and their managements judgement. I am just thankful they are still around.
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Postby gatesofdeliriumcrasher » Tue Sep 04, 2001 10:46 am

A lot of you seem to be missing the point, which is if they had originally planned to release and market the album in Dec. to tie in with the DVD-Audio release, then why did they originally announce first a Sept. release date, then an Oct. release date? Seems to me they tried to come up with some story about a special promotional deal in Dec. to appease Yesfans. This story is so full of holes, it looks like Swiss cheese! And furthermore, no one is saying anything bad against Yes, just their managers. Don't you think it would have made more sense to release the album at the beginning of the tour (regardless of what some reports say, it WAS ready) so Yes would have an album supporting the tour? They could have then re-released it in Dec. along with the DVD-audio version, thereby drumming up further interest in their 2002 tour. It makes sense to me.

<hr>"...we are merely players, performers and portayers. Each another's audience outside the gilded cage." Rush
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Postby Altair » Tue Sep 04, 2001 11:07 am

I got it. <img src=pix/icon_smile_wink.gif border=0 align=middle>
They originally announced a September release date just to piss us off because they are tired of hearing us bitch and complain about how their music is not as good as it once was. So, now they're playing us like puppets and we're feeding on it like ravenous vultures. And, to top things off, they created a piece-of-shit "pop" tune called "Don't Go" and decided to market their new album on it just knowing we can't stand that kind of bubblegum shit music.<img src=pix/jestera.gif border=0 align=middle>
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Postby gatesofdeliriumcrasher » Tue Sep 04, 2001 11:24 am

No, they didn't announce a Sept. release date just to piss us off, as you so eloquently put it, they announced a Sept. release date cause the management doesn't know what the f*ck they're doing!

<hr>"...we are merely players, performers and portayers. Each another's audience outside the gilded cage." Rush
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Postby Lotus » Tue Sep 04, 2001 11:50 am

<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>
<b>gatesofdeliriumcrasher wrote:</b>
Don't you think it would have made more sense to release the album at the beginning of the tour (regardless of what some reports say, it WAS ready) so Yes would have an album supporting the tour?
<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></font id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote>

While that seems to make more sense,I don't know,I get the impression that the management's freaked they'll release it to really poor sales and they want to do everything they can to avoid that(such as personally posting on alt.music.yes,a desperate measure for a band's manager if ever I saw one).It does add up-The Ladder sales sucked,after all,and that had some critical acclaim,push and promo tie-ins.

I've been thinking about it-who bought The Ladder?Core fans,and only 75,000 of 'em.Core fans also voted against the idea of an orchestra on tour...maybe these guys did the math and figured they only had assured sales in the neighborhood of 30-40,000,which would make for a dismal initial release.A bad release can really hurt susequent distribution,and Yes needs a home run,they don't want to absorb another financial/percived artistic failure...so they're trying to stack the deck with a flurry of promotion.I'm fine with it,especially if it means we fans get more stuff(videos,dvds,etc.).

I'm also psyched to see that they've hired a "top" publicist,I just hope it's some slick LA guy who can beg,borrow or steal Yes' way into the media spotlight.They need more gauche,in-your-face advertising(read Boyzone or N'Sync)if they truly want new fans;their current approach,if there is one,seems to suffer from a uniquely British excess of civility<img src=pix/icon_smile_big.gif border=0 align=middle>.

I've no expectations other than the fact that I know I'll like the album...but I know a small bit about management and promotion,and IMO these guys are definately backspinning.Hopefully it'll benefit us as fans.

<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>
<b>Ed1909 wrote:</b>
Obviously if the release is Dec' in the US, over here will be similar
<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></font id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote>

From what I read at the bondagezou site the European release is still scheduled for September 10 on Eagle records.



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Postby Yesmam » Tue Sep 04, 2001 11:50 am

<font color=red></font id=red>I agree that its an ongoing marketing disaster.When I was in High School way back in the 70s, my friends and I went to concerts all the time and I don't remember any hype about Yes back then. NOW, most Yes news comes from word of mouth (now that I've found you all I'll be an EXPERT<img src=pix/icon_smile_wink.gif border=0 align=middle>). My neighbor boy told me about The House of Blues CD, when it was released. I've thought for a long time that they had bad management. Roundabout is the only thing I ever hear by them on the radio. I love The Ladder and NEVER have heard anything from it on the radio, why don't they get more air time there? Who's in charge? And do they maybe prefer it this way?
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Postby relayer4u » Tue Sep 04, 2001 12:23 pm

Yesman, WAKE UP! The major record labels are in bed with the corporate FM radio stations. It's called payolla. Flow some money to the corporation that owns 100's if not 1000's of stations across the country and the songs you want to promote are on the air, whether any fan likes it or not. That's why Yes gets no air play.
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Postby relayer4u » Tue Sep 04, 2001 12:27 pm

Pardon my typing, Yesmam. I need to own a radio station, soon. I would have to be rich to do it, then I would be able to tell those bastards to eat the stinking payolla crap!
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